Most banking institutions offer a full range of banking, investment and insurance services, many also provide advice on property rentals and purchases. Since services, prices and conditions vary widely, you should shop around before you make a decision. Consumer advice agencies also provide information on banks and Sparkassen. Almost all banks now provide online banking via the Internet, and there are also some pure online banks like Comdirect (www.comdirect.de) and Consors (www.cortalconsors.de).
You might also opt to handle your finances through a Postbank account as this is often cheaper than with other banks. There are Postbank counters at all post offices (Deutsche Post) and you can withdraw money from your account on production of ID such as passport or identity card. Non-cash payments (remittances, credit notes etc.) are effected at the Postbank by letter via its branches, to which the completed and signed forms are sent.
Opening times differ from one bank to the next, with most open weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm. Main offices tend to keep similar hours to local shops, but may also open on Saturdays. In rural areas, banks are sometimes closed 1 to 2.30 pm. Most bank branches have cash machines (ATMs) that allow you to withdraw cash, transfer money and get bank statements 24 hours/day.